Skip to main content

Can the trustee take any of my settlement?

Las Vegas, NV |

Filed bankruptcy in 8 / 08 , dismissed 1 / 09 , car accident happens 10 / 09 . We are now settle ting the claim , is that settlement amount subject to be taken by the bankruptcy trustee ?

+ Read More

Attorney answers 8


Did you really mean to say your bankruptcy was "dismissed," or did you mean it was discharged. Also, did you file a chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy?

Matthew Scott Berkus

Matthew Scott Berkus


Okay, let's assume you meant "discharge." if so, since the accident occurred after your filed your bankruptcy, the trustee and the bankruptcy estate would have no claim on the settlement.


I'm not sure what you mean to say and whether you meant dismissed or discharged. If it was "dismissed" and you never re-filed, it is as if you never filed or were in bankruptcy. The settlement monies are yours ( no bankruptcy, no trustee, etc). Likewise, if you were "discharged" in a chapter 7 and the accident and settlement came after the end of the case, you are out of bankruptcy and the settlement money is yours. If you are still in a chapter 13 case, you need to check with your attorney and/or trustee about settlement monies that may be forthcoming as they may affect your plan payments.

This answer is for informational purposes only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.


The facts you give make it difficult to answer your question. Post another question with more details. There could definitely be some timing issues depending upon when you filed and when the accident happened. Hopefully you have no obligation the the bankruptcy estate and can settle the claim and move on with life.

Ryan C. Wood is a Bay Area bankruptcy lawyer and has been practicing exclusively bankruptcy law in California since 2007. Mr. Wood formerly worked for David Burchard, Chapter 13 Trustee for the Santa Rosa and San Francisco Divisions of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California. West Coast Bankruptcy Attorneys has filed hundreds of bankruptcy cases and has an “A” rating by the Better Business Bureau.

Legal Disclaimer: Ryan C. Wood practices law in California only. Any answers to questions re not intended to be legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. Always consult an attorney in your jurisdiction about your particular circumstances.


Dismissed or discharged? Makes a difference. Best bet is to call one of the above bankruptcy lawyers to discuss.

Only 29% Contingency Fee! Phone: 215-510-6755


The trustee cannot take any monies without an order from the court. You need to contact the trustee and request all paperwork regarding the issue.


You wrote, "Can the trustee take any of my settlement? ...
"Filed bankruptcy in 8 / 08 , dismissed 1 / 09 , car accident happens 10 / 09."

A: The bankruptcy Trustee lost oversight of your case in Jan. 2009 and has no claim against the proceeds.


I agree with the counsel stated above. You must look if your bankruptcy was actually dismissed or discharged? Depending on that status, the nature of the claims, and the amount of the settlement, some monies may be owed to the bankruptcy estate. Please contact bankruptcy counsel.


Personal Injury proceeds are exempt up to $16,150 in Nevada. This is hugely important for some people with personal injury cases. Often, a person can rack up huge medical bills in a personal injury case, yet run up against a faulty party who doesn’t have sufficient liability insurance to pay for it all. You could settle your case for the policy limits, yet still suffer a net loss. If you filed bankruptcy instead, you could protect $16,150 of the settlement, and then the medical providers have to split up what is left.

elsewhereif your claim is over the amount allowed by the personal injury exception, you can apply the federal “wild card” exemption, which allows you to exempt more. Under, the wild card exemption you may apply up to $11,200 (which includes a portion of any unused homestead exemption) to any personal property, including a personal injury claim or award. The wild card exemption can be used in addition to other exemptions. For example, the personal injury exemption of $21,625 + the wild card of $11,200 gives you a total exemption of $32,825.

The materials available at this web site are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of and access to this Web site or any of the e-mail links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between Howard Roitman, Esq. and the user or browser. The opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the firm or any individual attorney.

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer